Early this year, the people at MERCS introduced a Kickstarter for a brand new kind of game, MYTH. This develop-your-own-hero board game with the promise of a horde of miniatures funded at just under $1 million in April. Its anticipation was seen by the sheer number of people wanting to demo the game, as the MERCS booth was busy nearly every hour for the duration of the convention with demos. I was lucky enough to snag a sought after spot for a demonstration of MYTH this year at Gen Con, and wanted to share my experience.
Characters to choose from were the Soldier, Acolyte, Apprentice, and Archer, and I happily took on the role of the Apprentice.
Three main “sections” were laid out on the board for the demo consisting of an extended hallway, a small room, and then a large room that looked to be some kind of throne room. Basic rules were explained to us as our table had a mix of people who had backed the project and those who knew little about the game. As we were placed on the board, we were informed that the hallway had a trap in which pieces of the ceiling would fall, in addition to three enemy Minions. After our characters took actions, we had to roll to determine what column/row on the board that rocks fell at, and mark them as obstacles. While my group narrowly escaped falling rocks, we maneuvered through the Minions (by casting awesome spells and striking them down with weaponry, of course) and escaped the hallway before the door could be blocked off.
Upon entering the small room, a quest was made available to see how these worked. In corner of the room was placed a Lair, which spawned Enemies, and would continue to do so until we collapsed it. As cards are played, our general threat meter increased, and when the threat reaches its threshold, bad things happen. More enemies spawn, and sometimes, Captains. Captains are larger, more challenging enemies and require a successful Courage roll to make a successful attack. The threat generated by a character’s actions adjusts based on how many cards they actually play. Some of the enemies dropped treasure upon defeat, and we learned the hard way that using an action on the hope of picking up a helpful item rather than attacking can be dangerous.
Something that I liked about MYTH is that there is no pre-determined turn order. The Soldier may have a killer move to eradicate Enemies around him, but the Acolyte may have a buff that would increase their chances for success. Discussion among players, we found, is crucial. Even so, the game provides a level of difficulty that makes it challenging and fun, as our group did lose the Soldier in the small room.
As far as the cards go, I really liked the system that MYTH is using. Players are not restricted to doing only one thing per turn. Cards have markers on them indicating whether they are an Action or a Reaction card. Reactions can be used in many situations, though each player is allowed one action per turn. Move cards can be used alongside with Attack cards, and something I thought that was great was the way cards worked when players move. Some attack cards give you bonuses (in the form of extra dice to roll) for moving, or not moving, before executing the attack. This is another great example of the importance of communication between the players and comparing actions available to them. At the end of a round, all players choose one card from their hand to keep, discard the rest, and draw back up to their hand size. I liked this because as we went on, I was able to (somewhat) predict how these particular enemies were going to act, and which cards were best to keep or discard.
The designers have confirmed that the miniatures that come with the game will be gray in color, even though the ones pictured here vary in color and material. While the game itself is going to come with individual tiles that will be laid down per the rules, many people who attended mentioned over and over that the play mat at the demo (in the pictures) would be a wonderful addition. While there aren’t promises yet, comments on the MYTH Kickstarter page suggest that they may consider producing them for backers or in the future. I think that the mat would be great, as I’m a stickler for organization.
I don’t think that backers will be disappointed in this game, as the model designs look solid, and the game runs smoothly and efficiently. While all classes have different strengths as one can expect, I never felt that I was at a disadvantage in my class. I was able to knock out groups of enemies with spells and buffs, just as a Soldier could wipe out a row with a weapon. My excitement to bring this game home to my gaming group was only re-ignited by playing the game.